England centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of action for six months after suffering a torn Achilles, Premiership club Sale said on Thursday.
Director of rugby Steve Diamond said Tuilagi would undergo surgery next week.
"Manu will be a loss to England and Sale," said Diamond, who will be without Tuilagi as the club battle Wasps, Bath and Bristol for a place in the play-offs.
The 29-year-old suffered the injury in the early stages of Sale's 34-14 Premiership win at Northampton on Tuesday.
Tuilagi will miss England's final match in the 2020 Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup campaign.
He could also miss the entire 2021 Six Nations.
England head coach Eddie Jones is due to announce a preliminary squad for fixtures against the Barbarians and Italy that take place at the end of next month.
Tuilagi joined Sale on a one-year deal from Leicester in July.
Injuries have limited the Samoa-born player to 44 Tests, including one for the Lions, in an international career dating back to 2011.